Lake falling, no increase in discharge expected
Barnett Reservoir lake levels began falling Tuesday night after Pearl River Valley Water Supply District officials got ahead of inflows caused by Sunday rain event throughout the Pearl River Basin, and no further increases in the discharge from the dam is expected.
During Wednesday’s 9 a.m. conference call with the National Weather Service Jackson, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the City of Jackson, PRVWSD, it was decided to keep the discharge at 43,000 cubic feet per second
for another 24 hours.
The National Weather Service is still forecasting a crest of between 33.5 and 34 feet on the Pearl River at Jackson for Thursday. At 34 feet, some minor street flooding will occur in Jackson but water will not threaten
homes or businesses.
“We took the discharge to 43,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday afternoon and at about 9 p.m., the lake peaked, turned around and started falling,” said John Sigman, PRVWSD general manger. “The lake reached 298.6 on Tuesday, the highest we’ve been in over 10 years. Now we can start working to track the fall and bring this event to a conclusion.”
The lake level was 298.4 at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Sigman explained that while the worst of flood threats has passed, high water conditions will continue for two weeks. Inflows into Barnett Reservoir will remain above 30,000 cubic feet per second for at least another 10 days, which means the rate of discharge at the spillway will track at a similar rate.
Spillway Road across the dam remains open in both directions, but the access road to the fishing area below
the dam on the Madison County side is closed until further notice.